Americans flocked to register to vote during the first two weeks of the Black Lives Matter protests, a new study finds.
The data firm analyzed registration data from 2016 compared to 2020 and found large differences in the two election cycles. There was a 32% drop in voter registration in March and April of 2020 compared to the same time frame in 2016 and a 54% decrease in May, TargetSmart found.
But that changed dramatically during the first 15 days of June. Around 1.1 million Americans registered to vote from June 1-15 this year, while 1.6 million Americans registered in all of June 2016. Complete results for June are not available.
George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old Black man, died while in police custody on May 25 and his death sparked an avalanche of protests across the nation. All four officers on the scene of Floyd’s death were arrested and charged.
Of the new Americans who have registered to vote, the vast majority registered as Democrats. More than 200,000 more Democrats registered than Republican voters in June 2020, according to TargetSmart data.
In Minnesota, where Floyd died after after now-fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes, voter registration for Democrats nearly doubled from June 2016 to June 2020, their data found.
“There’s this level of intensity, people are feeling like this situation is being very much mishandled, and if they have the opportunity to go and cast a ballot and put different people in charge,” Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, told NBC News. “I think we’re seeing that in the vote registrations.”
The spike in voter registration numbers for Democrats came as national polls showed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden taking a widening lead on President Donald Trump. In early June, Biden grabbed an advantage over Trump for the first time, according to oddsmakers.